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Private hospitals now required to submit performance and quality data

Private providers of healthcare services must submit new information to help patients choose where to get treatment, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said.

The CMA carried out an investigation into private healthcare in 2014, leading to the appointment of the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), which will publish information on private hospitals and consultants.

The CMA said that over 500 hospitals that treat patients privately, including private hospitals and NHS private units, will now have to submit data to PHIN, which will use them to develop performance measures for private healthcare.

Organisations that fail to comply can receive a legally binding order from the CMA.

Roger Witcomb, chair of the CMA’s private healthcare investigation, said: “This data will help provide essential information on performance and quality which patients are entitled to expect.

“Whilst we’re pleased that the response from private healthcare providers has been largely positive, we’d remind those lagging behind that this is a legal requirement and, along with PHIN, we will be following up to ensure compliance with the requirements.

“Greater information on the performance of hospital operators and consultants, and later on consultants’ fees will help patients to be more active in making the right choice for them of where and by whom to be treated. This will help drive care providers to compete on the things that matter to patients.”

PHIN will begin publishing ratings of private healthcare providers from 30 April 2017, as well as information about their prices. The measures will include mortality and infection rates, the number of patients readmitted to hospital or transferred to an NHS hospital following surgery, patient satisfaction and health improvement following treatment.

Matt James from PHIN said: “The CMA’s requirements essentially bring private healthcare into line with NHS information processes to enable fair comparison.”

The British Medical Association (BMA) has said that NHS England should collect more data on independent providers of NHS services and subject them to the same requirements as NHS providers.

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